Tour of Scotland

Discussion in 'travel and world' started by Spymaster, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Don't assume that - Like May/June, September/October on the west can often offer better and more stable weather than over high summer. Plus, by October, the trees in areas like Argyll and parts of Highland Perthshire will be on the turn, so glorious autumn colour. The changes also happen further north but get more subtle as the tree cover thins out.

    Pitlochry is another good base for Perthshire/Central Highlands and over into Angus - but starting this year and through to the mid 2020s (or 2050s if your believe the Sunday Post!), there are several stretches of ongoing major improvement/rebuilding work along the A9, between Perth and Aviemore, so expect delays as they are using the 10mph one way "convoy" system to lead traffic through the roadworks. So if headed anywhere up the A9, consider turning-off at Perth and following the "Snow Roads" scenic route from Blairgowrie to Grantown on Spey instead.

    The SnowRoads Scenic Route - 90 Miles of Adventure

    After Grantown, its a short hop back to the A9 and IIRC, only one stretch of roadworks north of Aviemore. Or you could take the high open hill road over Dava Moor to pick-up the A96 to the back road through Cawdor and Culloden - which again is magnificent with great views to the central massif of the Cairngorms and attractive little places like Dulsie Bridge and its walk along the Findhorn Gorge (unsigned path from the back of the car park).
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  2. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Inverness is a toilet/petrol stop on the way to far better places IMO. Otherwise its a dull, boring, nasty, shithole..!

    And watch your driving for a few miles around that city - Traffic police can be flaming merciless, esp on the A9/A96 and around Muir of Ord/Contin. I could digress considerably about that. Then I could get on to the subject the truly shit standard of catering in many pubs/hotels and how being caught in possession of a kebab in the Crown district got me lifted..! But there are a number of other actually really nice places around Inverness and interesting places to visit, so you can't write-off the surrounding area entirely!

    Drumnadrchit/ Loch Ness - The A82 along the loch is not scenic, very busy, with a lot of heavy traffic and the seventh worst road in Scotland for serious collisions (it does get much better south of Ft Augustus though) - mostly around Drumnadrochit, which is an embarrassing/rip-off place where they have even just started you charging 50p a pop to use the public lavvies. One half-decent (but not cheap!) pub and a not bad camp site whose best feature is that you can't actually see the loch or village from it! And eight-odd quid to visit the sparse ruin of Urquhart Castle is a joke - esp as it is now the most visited castle after Edinburgh, so will likely be mobbed whenever you go.

    Anyway, its a long way from Edinburgh or Glasgow and on your timescale, you could be into far better country and places a lot quicker. Or go-p the west via Glen Shiel, Glenelg, Kyle, Plockton, Lochcarron, Kishorn, Applecross, Sheildaig, Torridon, Kinlochewe, Gairloch, Ullapool and into Assynt/Lochinver (and even further north!) - which is about the longest stretch of the most continuously magnificent scenic driving you can do in the UK. Then return to the trunk road system via Inverness.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  3. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Also, you do know that a car is a flaming liability in Edinburgh and Glasgow? - so unless you have somewhere with parking, it is advisable to park-up outside the cities (various park and rides) and use public transport.

    Or if renting, picking-up/returning from the airports when leaving each city is the best option, they have longer opening hours and are well placed for getting to where you want to go - esp Glasgow, where you can be over the Clyde and into glorious highland scenery within a matter of tens of minutes from leaving the airport.
  4. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    Yeah, I’ll be renting and picking up at the airport. No probs there. What about getting the East Neuk of Fife in?
  5. cyberfairy


    You probably have a full itinerary but if not, I have spent a week near St Johns of Dalry, a village by the Galloway Forest in Dumfries and Galloway- a cracking little pub ( just surprisingly reviewed by Giles Coren in The Times) red squirrels and stags, empty roads, moorland, hills, lochs, iron age forts and some particularly good graveyards :cool: Not that far from Edinburgh and Glasgow and a cracking drive there. Counted one car in about thirty miles.
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  6. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Its dead easy to get to the East Neuk from Edinburgh Airport.

    How are you getting to Edinburgh? If its by train, the Airlink 100 bus leaves from right beside Waverely Station and goes right to the terminal. Its a fast and reliable service, with dedicated bus lanes through the worst of the congestion out of the city. The car rental firms will all pick you-up from there or you can get a shuttle bus - you can take the tram too but it is a little further walk at each end. Princes St or St Andrews Square stances serve the station and the airport stance is just beyond the end of the terminal.

    When you leave the airport - turn on to the A8 (right) at the airport junction and follow the main road to the motorway where you take the Perth/Queensferry Crossing lanes - just avoid the morning/evening rush hours! Once over the bridge and on to the M90, turn off at Junction 2a or 3 - which puts you on the A92 Fife Relief Road. Take this to the far end of Kircaldy and turn right on to the A921 towards Dysart, then at the next roundabout, turn left on to the A915, which will take you to Uppwe Largo, where you turn on to the A917 which runs behind all the East Neuk villages to St Andrews. From there its a short distance to Dundee via the Tay Bridge and an easy drive to Gem's, or to Blairgowrie via Coupar Angus, where you could pick-up the Snow Roads route.
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  7. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    No chance. Flying.
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  8. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    I agree with Cyberfary - Dumfries and Galloway is another seriously neglected by visitors but very worthwhile part of the country. The reason for it getting broadsheet attention is maybe connected with Charles Jenck's landscape project at the Crawick Multiverse:

    Land Art project in Dumfries & Galloway

    Similarly, the Braemar area has been rediscovered since Iwan and Manuela Wirth (major art dealers) refurbished the Fife Arms Hotel in considerable style:

    Our Story | Boutique Hotels In Scotland | The Fife Arms

    Quite a place - and the bar does a cheap menu but do go-explore into the rooms behind it - there is some impressive art there!
  9. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Angus, between Dundee and Aberdeen, sort of on the map. Look up the Bell Rock lighthouse, I see it from my bedroom window :D

    Why you so desperate to go to Fife?? I could meet you there but it would need to be just in Fife, the driving standards there are CRAP, least they were last time I went and are why I don't go there anymore :D
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  10. kebabking

    kebabking Not a Girly Swot, but I like them....

    Have a mooch around Glasgow's fashionable West End, look in awe at the University, stroll up Byres Road and eat and drink in any of a dozen places - danny la rouge is of course correct to suggest the University Cafe, but I'd hit the Ubiquitous Chip and the various other bars and eateries - and wander about the side streets and squares of Hillhead, particularly Athole Gardens, former home to one of the Internet's most handsome, witty, knowledgeable and sexually adventurous characters.

    In terms of the drive, go up the A82 over Rannoch Moor, through Glencoe, then jump on the Corran Ferry (5 minutes, £5?) and do the circuit through Strontian, Archracle and Glenelg and up to the Mallaig-Fort William road. If you're able to get up that far I'd absolutely recommend the North West coast - Ullapool upwards, with a stop at the Inchnadamph Hotel: a proper old skool huntin, fishin, shootin lodge. Beaches and mountains are stunning up there...

    Dumfries and Galloway is amazing - think of the Lake District but without any tourists...
  11. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    It's only 4 hours 15 mins from London and as it's centre to centre, probably takes not much longer than flying and is much more pleasant. Great views round Berwick too.
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  12. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Inchnadamph is no more I’m afraid. I stopped in there a few weeks ago - the signs were down and the guy in the car park told me to sling my hook. It seems to function as just a dorm/hostel for the field centre now. :(
  13. kebabking

    kebabking Not a Girly Swot, but I like them....

  14. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Fraud so - unless this is some temp arrangement until a new owner is found? I did hear it was up for sale a few months back.

    Several fine traditional hotels in mountain/upland areas have gone over to Airbnb apartments or become field accommodation for private schools over the last couple of years - away from the honeypots like Skye and Glencoe, the market is pretty tough just now.
    kebabking likes this.
  15. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    No, I don't want centre to centre. I'll pick the car up at the airport. I've flown many times and it's far easier. I can be out of my bed about 6am, fly from City airport and be picking up the car around 9am at Edinburgh or Glasgow airports. Return flight is £99. Trains cost the same or more, take longer, get delayed ... etc
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  16. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    That's me telt as we say in Scotland.
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  17. kebabking

    kebabking Not a Girly Swot, but I like them....

    Liked for the information. Bloody tradegy - we stayed there when my first one was little: they made such a fuss of her, and the hospitality we amazing - they taught my dad to drink Whisky, and my (then) wife to fish.

    I've very, very happy memories of the place and it's amazing people.
  18. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    :D Flying gives me an extra day touring. If I took the train I'd likely have to spend the first night in Edinburgh or be driving in the dark. This way I can get in early morning-ish and get straight on the road if necessary.
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  19. neonwilderness

    neonwilderness What would Badgers do?

    Sleeper to Fort William :thumbs: :D
  20. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker


    I'm not one of those weirdos who thinks spending a night on a train is romantic or fun. The Orient Express maybe, but the Caledonian Sleeper is about as appealing to me as herpes.
  21. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    It is a point - renting a car at the airport makes a lot more sense compared to Central Edinburgh. For starters, the airport rental offices have much longer hours, you avoid the mess of traffic as the whole area adjacent to Waverley is under major redevelopment just now, with road closures, one ways and other restrictions - nobody with any sense would want to take a car through that.

    Then, if you are intending leaving the city, the airport is ideally sited for the main roads west and north and only a short distance from the city bypass, which although it is showing its age and also prone to congestion, still makes getting to East Lothian, the Borders and points south a whole lot easier than going through the city proper.

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